Vegan Treats for Two: Overkill Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello! It's the last day of Vegan MoFo! What a whirlwind that always is. I salute all of you who started at the beginning and stuck through the whole thing. I only started halfway through! Shall we celebrate our blogging achievements with some cake?

Yesterday I asked if you could guess my favorite treat. I said my taste buds are simpletons and that my favorite treat was 'stremely simple because I like simple flavors. Are you ready for the big, shocking reveal? My favorite sweet treat is... chocolate cake! Always chocolate cake. Simply flavored. No adventurous variations. No coffee or goji berries or rum or chili powder or roasted garlic, thankyouverymuch. Just the chocolate. ALL the chocolate.

When given a choice, I'll always go with chocolate! These are little chocolate cakes filled with silky chocolate ganache, then smothered with creamy chocolate buttercream and topped with semi-sweet chocolate curls or shavings. ALL the chocolate!

Overkill Chocolate Cupcakes for Two

For the chocolate cakes:

30 g sugar
18 g vegetable oil or melted coconut oil at room temperature
20 g vegan milk (plus more later)
30 g all purpose flour
4 g dark cocoa powder (Dutch process)
1/16 tsp salt
1/16 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
20 g vegan milk
1/4 tsp white vinegar

1. These baking directions are for the Cuisinart TOB-60. You'll probably need to experiment with your toaster oven settings to get the best results. More on that here: How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes in a Toaster Oven. Preheat the toaster oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and spray two cupcake liners with cooking spray. Place the liners in a small muffin tin. For the Cuisinart TOB-60, preheat the oven on the WARM function so that only the bottom heating elements are activated.

2. In a small bowl or coffee cup combine the sugar, oil, and milk and whisk vigorously for at least 30 seconds.

3. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and add the salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

4. Fold everything slightly until you end up with a somewhat lumpy batter. Take care not to over mix the batter at this point! No more vigorous whisking or beating.

5. Add the rest of the milk and vinegar and fold gently again until everything is incorporated. Try not to over mix the batter.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake on the WARM setting for 12 minutes, then switch to the BAKE setting and bake for an extra eight minutes at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C.) If you're using a different toaster oven you may be able to use the BAKE setting from the start.

9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Let them cool down completely at room temperature.

10. When the cupcakes have cooled down to room temperature use an apple corer to remove a bit of cake from the center of each one. If you don't have an apple corer, you can try using a pointy, serrated knife to cut off a little cone-shaped piece from the center of each cake instead. It doesn't have to be a very big hole, only about half an inch wide and deep. You can discard the bits of cupcake that you remove. And by discard I mean... eat 'em!

For the chocolate ganache:

20 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 g vegan milk

1. Combine the chocolate chips and milk in a small microwave-safe bowl. I like to use a glass bowl or cup so I can keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't bubble up in the microwave.
2. Microwave on high for 15 seconds. Stir. Microwave again if necessary for 10 more seconds. Stir. Repeat if necessary until the ganache is smooth and silky and let it cool down to room temperature.
3. When it has cooled down to room temperature, use a small spoon to fill each cupcake hole with the ganache.

For the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting:

40 g shortening*
20 g powdered sugar, sifted
3 g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (not Dutch process)
a little splash of milk as needed, about half a teaspoon
pinch of salt
a piece of a semi-sweet chocolate bar for the topping, optional

1. Weigh the shortening into a small, narrow bowl or cup and beat it for about a minute or until it looks smooth.

2. Add the sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 30 seconds or so.

3. Give it a taste and add more powdered sugar if needed. Depending on how much powdered sugar you add, you may need to add a tiny bit of milk if the frosting is not getting soft and fluffy.

4. Add in a tiny pinch of salt, only a few grains, and give it a good stir.

5. Now that the cupcakes are at room temperature and filled with the ganache you're ready to frost them. Plonk the frosting on top of the cupcakes and use a little spatula, or a non-serrated knife, or the back of a small spoon to smooth out the buttercream frosting.

6. Now for the topping. You can use a cheese grater to simply add some chocolate shavings to the top of the cake, or if you want to make curls like I did, you can use a potato peeler to "peel" the sides of a semi-sweet chocolate bar. Just like you would a potato. It helps if you warm the chocolate in your hand for a few seconds to get it nice and warm and pliable. I like to use food-handling gloves for this because once that pesky chocolate gets under your nails and melts it will remain there for all eternity.


. Feel free to use proper cake decorating tools and pipe the icing on with a pretty decorating tip. I can't be bothered to go through all that trouble for only two cupcakes!

. I use Spectrum Organics shortening which is Colombian palm oil. If you can't find a shortening you're comfortable using, you can always replace it with coconut whipped cream, You may need to adjust the amount of sugar because coconut milk is kind of, sort of sweetish? Keep the cupcakes refrigerated if you're not going to eat them right away!


. Check out my blog post about baking cupcakes in a toaster oven.

. All the ingredients are weighed, even the liquids, and I'm using the metric system. Grams are more convenient than ounces or cups when it comes to baking tiny batches of things. I use a digital scale which has a handy "tare" button that lets me reset the weight after I add each ingredient.Screw you, unreliable cups and tablespoons! Except for baking soda and salt and all those tiny pinches of things. For those I use my tiny 1/8 tsp from my set of Wilton measuring spoons. How do you measure 1/16 tsp of salt and baking soda? I eyeball it using half of an 1/8 tsp.

. I bake everything in a Cuisinart TOB-60 toaster oven. You may need to experiment with your toaster oven to get the best result. 

Overkill! I'm not even sorry though.

I don't make these very often because the whole thing is a bit of a production and a sugar fest. Usually, I'll just make these simple chocolate chip cupcakes instead and call it a day. But these are such a lovely treat!

Let's destroy them now!

Do you celebrate Halloween? Are you going to any Halloween parties today? What's your costume going to be? I'm going as a ghost. Not one of those ghost costumes where you just throw a white bed sheet over your head and cut out a couple of eye holes, but an actual invisible ghost. I'll be there, you just won't be able to see me because my costume will be THAT excellent. I certainly won't stay at home in my pajamas watching Harry Potter movies and eating junky snacks instead. Nope. Ghost.

Happy Halloween! :)


  1. Awwww, that’s the end? Waaaaah! I’ll miss your puns and tasty treats. I LOVE Halloween and went as Medusa, complete with rubber snakes. Don’t be a stranger!

    1. Thank you so much, Beverlee! And thank you even more for always stopping by to say something nice. Your lovely comments helped fuel my Vegan MoFo engines! Or something that sounds a bit less weird.

      Medusa with rubber snakes sounds like an awesome costume! I would have loved to have seen that. I bet everyone kept trying to pet your snakes! Or something that sounds a bit less weird! :P

  2. Major yes to chocoholic goodness and ghosts :)

    1. Hehe, when it comes to chocolate I just don't know when to stop! :P

  3. These look so fancy and pretty and yummy!
    I approve of your costume. I have a similar one myself. In fact, am I in your house right now? Who would know. I am certainly not still sitting in my lounge room, eating beans and planning a 30 Rock marathon for the rest of my afternoon.

    1. I thought I'd heard and Australian ghost in here rummaging through my kitchen cupboards and disapproving of my coconut oil! :D

  4. But if it's just chocolate on chocolate on chocolate how could variations on the same thing be overkill? Yes to all the chocolate I say! My costume is scarily similar to your costume, except it was a multitude of blankets (winter is almost here) a colorful ghost, a rainbow of ghostery, on the couch reading spooky stories :) I loved your MoFo-ery! It's always a pleasure to see you here!

    1. Thanks so much! Your colorful blanketty ghost costume sounds perfect. And "A Rainbow of Ghostery" sounds like the title of a book I'd like to read! :D

      Yes to all the chocolate! I have some chocolate pudding cooling in the fridge now. Can't let one day go by without eating chocolate, can we?

  5. Sorry, overkill? chocolate? I don't believe there is such a thing!These look AMAZING!

    1. You're right! I think I temporarily lost my mind when I said this amount of chocolate was overkill. Crazy talk! :)

  6. So THOSE look more than AWESOME...they look and sound PERFECT! YUMMERZ! I hope you don't mind I'm linking you and hope to visit and comment often!


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